All entries for Thursday 04 January 2007

January 04, 2007

High performance Vauxhall diesel discovered

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/south_east/6231085.stm

Amusing story – yet another example of the unreliability of automatic speed detection. It was however a staff error on this case. The article makes no mention of this, but it was reported on BBC R4 that the camera partnership in question were saying that the ticket still needed paying as it was a staff and not a detection error. I find that hard to believe, but if that’s true then it’s utterly disgusting.

Two other interesting bits of news, both from the renewables front. Firstly a project was launched yesterday to boost awareness amongst farmers of the future potential of biofuels. I’ve long been a supporter of home-grown biofuels, and it’s pleasing to see some more positive noise made about them. They offer a real potential for carbon reductions whilst at the same time increasing the economic viability of UK agriculture and reducing our dependency on foreign energy imports – wins all round.

The second piece of news (which I couldn’t find a link for) is somewhat less positive. Following on from my recent entry about wind energy, the British Wind Energy Association have come out heavily critical of the government’s current renewables programs, accusing them of sidelining wind energy in particular and especially upset about the possibility of removing subsidies for on-shore sites, which would “make low wind speed sites unprofitable”. Well, this is kind of the point guys. If a wind site is unlikely to be economically profitable, that’s probably because there’s not a lot of potential for generating electricity back. Duh. So it’s not such a good idea environmentally to build turbines there either. Wind power has a big advantage over other renewables in that it’s comparatively well-developed and mass-produced, and as such the costs have fallen by about 80% in the last 20 years. Perhaps if we gave funding to technologies which are currently much more in their infancy (such as biofuels and wave power) then we would see much more viable and economically sound (as well as environmentally sound) alternatives appear in the not too distant future, instead of the low output and highly unreliable entity that is on-shore wind.


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